Acquired Podcast: Breaking the Rules

Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal are proof that when it comes to podcasts, breaking the rules can pay. Conventional podcasting wisdom suggests relatively frequent, brief, and highly-produced episodes for an audience with supposedly short attention spans. Get in, get out, and start working on next week’s episode.

Ben and David, on the other hand, decided to release only twelve episodes of their wonky business podcast Acquired per year. That’s understandable, because a single episode can stretch for hours as they discuss and explore every detail and nuance in the history of a well-known business.

What did all this rule-breaking get them? A supernova of a hit. As the WSJ article below reports, they charge advertisers $40,000 a month just to get on the show’s back-episodes, and $400,000 to $600,000 to sponsor four new episodes. Behind the scenes, Ben and David work extremely hard researching and learning their subjects to the core before going into production.

“I think corporations are the biggest and best nonfiction stories of our day,” David says in the WSJ piece. “There’s no Roman Empire anymore. If you’re looking for a story like the legends of old, it’s Apple and Microsoft and LVMH. That is the arena in which people pursue greatness.”

That is certainly true, but podcasting is obviously a different arena in which Ben and David are not only pursuing greatness but catching it. Now they are also putting their money where their mouths are by investing in some of the show’s sponsors, as well as starting a $30 million investment fund named Acquired Capital. As they continue to tell can’t-miss stories about some of the most valuable businesses in the world, I will be watching their own story as well. Check out the podcast here (

Source: Ben Cohen | "The Smartest People in the Room Are All Listening to the Same Podcast" | The Wall Street Journal | 05/10/2024 | Visit